BESIX JV awarded $486 mn rail contract in Europe

An executive agency of the Latvian Ministry of Transport awarded the contract to BESIX Group and Sia Rere Būve

A joint venture (JV) between Belgium based construction firm, BESIX Group and Latvian company, Sia Rere Būve was recently awarded a $486 million contract to design and build the Rail Baltica Central Station in Riga, Latvia.

The project is part of the wider $5 billion rail project intended to connect the Baltic states in Europe.

The development will be financed by the European Union’s (EU) Connecting Europe Facility and the Republic of Latvia, 85 and 15 per cent respectively. Scope of work include the construction of the Central Station in Riga, a major railway bridge on the Daugava River, railway embankments, and track works. Besides the new facilities, the JV will install, plan, and coordinate all temporary infrastructure to ensure a smooth rail traffic flow during the project-works, a statement from BESIX said.

Commenting on the contract, Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX said: “BESIX is very proud to participate in the construction of the Rail Baltica project. This is a major infrastructure project, for Latvia and the Baltic states of course, but also for Europe as a whole and the economic integration of the continent.”

“The Central Station project, located in the heart of Riga, presents a high level of complexity that BESIX, along with its partner Sia Rere Būve, is honoured to achieve,” he added.

The Central Station building will have an area of 12,600 sqm. and a steel structure with a 2100 sqm. glazed roof. Apart from that, the JV will be responsible for building passenger platforms and renovating the existing station building, pedestrian tunnels, another junction and associated demolition works, the construction firm noted.

Meanwhile, the railway bridge on the Daugava River will have a total length of 1056 m and incorporate a slender design to blend in with the architecture of the city. Scope of work will include construction of embankments, emergency access and safety barriers as well as the improvement of adjacent areas. Additionally, the JV will also install new rails and a catenary system over a 2.5 km distance within the city of Riga.

BESIX also stated that the project presents unique challenges and a high degree of complexity. Besides the constraints of an urban environment, the firm said, the project will have to be divided into several phases. This is so that the station, adjacent roads and public transport will remain operational at all times.

Guntis Aboltins-Abolins, Chairman of the Board of Rere Grupa said that they consider this a vital project in their portfolio.

“Their [BESIX] involvement in the Latvian market is an accomplishment. I and my team expect to cooperate closely and achieve quality results in jointly delivering the largest construction project in Latvia to date,” he concluded.

BESIX added that all works will be completed by 2026.

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